Monday, May 29, 2017
Our Deteriorating Environment - 20 Issues
Dr Abe V Rotor
"We are destroying the Earth - our only spaceship in the universe. - AVR"
1.Our changing environment breeds a unimaginable ailments and diseases. Nature-Man Balance, the key to good health is being threatened.
2. The Good Life is shifting with the transformation of agricultural to industrial
3. The Good Life is synonymous to Affluence. People want goods and services beyond what they actually need. It is want that leads to luxury - to waste.
4. The world’s population is 7.7 billion. Another billion will be added in less than 10 years. Runaway population in the mother of human miseries.
5. The proliferation of cities, growth of cities to metropolises and megapolises, each with 10 to 20 million people ensconced in cramped condition. Cities breed marginal
“People, people everywhere, but not a kindred to keep," in condominiums, malls, schools, churches, parks, sharing common lifestyles and socio-economic conditions. They are predisposed to common health problems and vulnerabilities from brownouts to food and fuel shortage, force majeure notwithstanding. Poor health and crowded living conditions.
6. Loss of Natural Environment – loss of productivity, loss of farmlands, and wildlife Destruction of ecosystems - lakes, rivers, forests, coral reefs, grasslands, etc. The destruction of ecosystems is irreversible.
7. Species are threatened; many are now extinct, narrowing down the range of biodiversity. Human health depends largely on a complex interrelationship of the living world. No place on earth is safe from human abuse. Coral Reef – bastion of terrestrial and marine life, is now in distress. Atolls, a world within a world of marine and terrestrial organisms are threatened by global warming, pollution and exploitation. We have studied not even 10 % of the world’s species.
8. Wildlife shares with our homes, backyards and farms, transmitting deadly diseases like SARS, HIV-AIDS, Mad-Cow, FMD, Ebola, and Bird Flu which can now infect humans.
9. “Good Life” cradles and nurses obesity and other overweight conditions. Millions of people around the world are obese, 1 out of 5 in the US.
10. Global warming stirs climatic disturbance, changes the face of the earth.
11. Globalization packages the major aspects of human activity – trade, commerce, industry, agriculture, the arts, education, science and technology, politics, religion and the like.
12. Mélange of races - pooling of genes through inter-racial and inter-cultural marriages produces various mixed lines or “mestizos” - Eurasian, Afro-Asian, Afro-American, Amerasian, and the like. Native genes provide resistance to diseases, adverse conditions of the environment. But will this advantage hold on even as the native gene pools are thinned out?
13. Modern medicine is responsible in reducing mortality and increasing longevity.
It has also preserved genetically linked abnormalities; it cradles senility related ailments. It made possible the exchange of organs and tissues through transplantation, and soon tissue cloning. It has changed Evolution that is supposed to cull out the unfit and misfits. Man has Darwinism in his hands.
14. First breakthrough in science - splitting of the atom - gave man the atomic bomb before the nuclear reactor was developed.
15. The second scientific breakthrough – Microchip to Internet “shrunk the world into a village.”
16. The third breakthrough in science, Genetic Engineering, changed our concept of life - and life forms. It has enabled man to tinker with life itself. It gave rise to revolutionary industries Examples: In vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood, Human Genome Project (HGP or gene mapping), multiple childbirth, post-menopausal childbirth, DNA mapping, etc. It ushered the birth of the prototype human robot – pampered, he lives a very dependent life.
17. Genetic Engineering gave rise to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and Gene Therapy. Biological Warfare today is more terrifying. Gene Therapy prevents gene-link diseases even before they are expressed; it has revolutionized medicine.
More and more countries are banning GMO crops and animals through legislative measures and conservation programs, including protection against “biopiracy” All over the world the battlecry is NO TO GMO! In the Philippines Bohol is the first province to launch a GMO-Free Ordinance
18. Today’s Green Revolution opened up non-conventional frontiers of production – mariculture, desalination, desert farming, swamp reclamation, aerophonics (rooftop farming), hydroponics, urban farming, organic farming, Green Revolution adapts genetic engineering to produce GMOs and Frankenfoods.
We may not be aware, but many of us are eating genetically modified food (GMF or Frankenfood) everyday – meat, milk, chicken, corn, potato and soya products, and the like mainly from the US.
Many food additives and adjuncts are harmful, from salitre in longganiza to pesticide residue in fruits and vegetables, aspartame in fruit juice to MSG in noodles, formalin in fish to dioxin in plastics, bromate in bread to sulfite in sugar, antibiotic residue in meat to radiation in milk.
Post Harvest Technology. is critical to Food Production. PHT bridges production and consumption, farm and market, thus the proliferation of processed goods, supermarket, fast food chains, food irradiation, ready-to-eat packs, etc.
• Aeroponics is farming on top of buildings. In Japan it is compulsory to maintain at least 50% of the area of rooftops of buildings as a garden or farm.
• Multi-storey farming designed like skycrapers has been introduced in big cities in the US, Japan and Europe. It is called vertical farming.
19. Exploration into the depth of the sea and expanse of the Solar System. We probe the ocean. We build cities in space - the Skylab. Soon we will live outside of the confines of our planet earth. Now we aim at conquering another planet, another Solar System to assure continuity of mankind after the demise of the earth.
20. Regional and International Cooperation: EU, ASEAN, APEC, CGIAR, CRISAT, WTO, WHO, UNEP, WFO, FAO, Fighting diseases globally – HIV-AIDS, SARS, Dengue, Hepatitis, Bird Flu, and now swine Flu. ~
We say, “Everything changes, except change.” And of all creatures, only we humans can change our environment – deliberately and rationally. We have virtually placed the world into our hands.
"The Ingredients of Change - the factors to growth become the factors of decline."
No period in history has man influenced the environment as much as what he is doing today
in his pursuit for a higher standard of living, and affluence.
• We are losing our natural world; we are creating a world of our own design.
• We are changing our life style – from rural to urban. We leave the countryside to live in the city.
• We contribute to the deterioration of our environment on all levels and walks of life.
• We are changing the environment to meet not only our needs and but affluence.
• We tailor the environment to fit our lifestyle, instead of our lifestyle to the environment – as what our ancestors did in their time.
• We nurture a distorted vision of what the environment is, and what it should be.
• We defy the borders of function and aesthetics, reality and fantasy. We venture into the frontiers of time and space.
• We are living “ahead of our time in a free-for-all fall.” We call this Post-Modernism and Globalization